Afghanistan’s return to Test cricket didn’t go according to their plans as their batting unit faltered in the first Test against Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s bowlers didn’t allow the opposition batters to get out of the groove and score runs. It was a horror day for Afghanistan as they were dismissed for just 131. Zimbabwe didn’t miss an opportunity to capitalize, as they had managed a two-run lead by the end of the day’s play.
Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan won the toss and elected to bat on a surface that seemed confused whether it was for spinners or seamers. The wicket was green, but from one end it seemed to be very dry as well. Zimbabwe’s new-ball bowlers helped in answering the questions as Blessing Muzarabani stuck with the first ball of the innings.
Debutant Abdul Malik was the one who got out and from here on, almost everything went downhill for the Afghan team. But, Muzarabani’s biggest scalp came a few overs later when he got the big wicket of Rahmat Shah. Muzarabani ended with figures of 4 for 48 and made sure that Zimbabwe didn’t miss the services of Kyle Jarvis.
Muzarabani got great support from Victor Nyauchi, who ended with figures of 3 for 34. Donald Tiripano and part spinners, Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza picked up a wicket each to make sure that the Afghanistan team didn’t get away with even a competitive first-innings score. As far as batting is concerned, Ibrahim Zadran (31 runs) and Afsar Zazai (37 runs) showed some resistance, but Zimbabwe bowlers were too good for them as well.
Zimbabwe stutter but Sean Williams leads the way
In response, Zimbabwe were caught in a difficult situation as well. Left-arm spinner Amir Hamza reduced them to 38 for 4, rejuvenating the hopes of Afghan fans. However, that didn’t happen as Sikandar Raza and captain Sean Williams got together and stitched a partnership that helped their side to recover and get very close to Afghanistan’s first innings total.
Hamza ended the day with four wickets to his name and bowled 17 overs. Williams got to his fifty, staying unbeaten on 54 with Ryan Burl at the other end. Raza made a handy contribution of 43, which can turn out to be crucial, considering the way day one unfolded. With their score at 133 for 5, Zimbabwe would be hoping to take a decent lead in the first innings when they come out to play the second day.
Here are some of the tweets which sum up the day one’s contest:
everytime zimbabwe play, you can get so much joy just looking at the wonderful first names in their playing XI – today they have a prince, a blessing and a victor on the park! #AFGvZIM
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) March 2, 2021
— Tommy P (@TommyPearsonUK) March 2, 2021
— Janani (@njan85) March 2, 2021
Afghanistan🇦🇫 is the first ever team to play five consecutive Test matches against five different opponents.
vs India🇮🇳 in 2018
vs Ireland☘️ in 2019
vs Bangladesh🇧🇩 in 2019
vs West Indies🌴 in 2019
vs Zimbabwe🇿🇼 in 2021#AFGvZIM
— Muzafar Hussain Bhara 🇵🇰 (@Bhara_Saeen) March 2, 2021
15 wickets on the first day of the #AFGvZIM Test in Abu Dhabi. Imagine the furore about the pitch if it was England playing and the English media covering this game!
— महादादा (@mahadada) March 2, 2021
Afghanistan bowled out for just 131 on Day 1 of the 1st Test.
Good to see 3 of the players in the Zim Team from Dangamvura (Donald Tiripano, Kevin Kasuza & Victor Nyauchi) in 1st Team jerseys representing the east in today! #AFGvZIM #cricket#5thAnniversary2021 pic.twitter.com/UKb3dIgNvd
— Diamond Fm Zimbabwe (@diamond1038FM) March 2, 2021
— H. Kaur (@Harneet02) March 2, 2021
— Shehab Khan (@ShehabSK1) March 2, 2021
— Conillias Rusinga (@C_rusinga) March 2, 2021
Enjoyed most of the day's action but feel the game is still in the balance..raza's fall was a big loss to zimbabwe..need the skipper to kick on tomorrow morning..a lead over 100 would be probably take Afghan out of the game. #AFGvZIM
— moi _cray cray (@KunMatenga) March 2, 2021
Opening batsmen putting pressure on Williams as always.. There's only so much 1 man can do. And it's like that in all formats. #AFGvZIM
— WeKwa Chisepo (@aggiechiss) March 2, 2021
Captain's knock by @SCWilliams14. Leading @ZimCricketv by example with a half century, a wicket and a catch at end of day today thank you Mr Captain. We are waiting for it to be translated to a century tomorrow… Well played @ZimCricketv skipper #AFGvZIM
— @Rayn_Muche_ZW (@NgwaratiRaynald) March 2, 2021
1ST INNINGS LEAD!!!! @ZimCricketv take a 1st innings lead passing @ACBofficials total of 131. Zimbabwe will start tomorrow with a 2-run lead & 5 wickets in hand. I wouldn’t say they’re well on top, but if they can get a lead of 70+ going into the 2nd innings they will be #AFGvZIM
— Zim Undercover Agent (@undercoverzimbo) March 2, 2021
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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